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Well-Known Ancient Characters

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Famous or very significant people from ancient history

97 facts:

Aaron
   was an   
Egypt-born Hebrew Priest
Brother of Moses; born c.1395 BC
Abraham
   was a   
Chaldean-born Settler of Canaan
Born c.2050 BC
Aesop
   was a   
Greek Fabulist
Sage and fabulist. Author of the famous Aesop's Fables; born c.620 BC
Akhenaton
   was an   
Egyptian King
Credited with the establishment of monotheism in Egypt; born c. 1364 BC
Alexander the Great
   was a   
Macedonian King
Military genius, born 356 BCE
Amenhotep III
   was an   
Egyptian King
Maintained the longest reign of any ruler of his period (1386-1349 BCE)
Ananda
   was an   
Indian Philosopher
Disciple and attendant of the Buddha 6th century BCE
Anaximander
   was a   
Greek Philosopher
Pre-Socratic, c. 610-546 BCE
Apollonius of Perga
   was a   
Greek Astronomer
And geometer. The crater Apollonius on the Moon is named after him; c. 262-190 BC
Archimidedes
   was a   
Greek Mathematician
And engineer. Generally considered the greatest mathematician of antiquity; c. 287-212 BC
Aristophanes
   was a   
Greek Playwright
Acclaimed playwright of Athens many of whose plays still exist; c. 446-386 BC
Aristotle
   was a   
Greek Philosopher
Student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great; 384-322 BC, was a bugger for the bottle
Arminius
   was a   
Germanic Military Leader
Defeated the Roman army in the Battle of Teutoburg Forest
Asanga
   was an   
Indian Philosopher
And Buddhist monk, c. 300-370 CE
Asvaghosa
   was an   
Indian Poet and Philosopher
Believed to be the first Sanskrit dramatist; c. 80-50 CE
Attila
   was a   
Hunnish Khan
Known as Attila the Hun; fearsome enemy of the Western and Eastern Roman Empire; 406-453 AD
Augustus
   was a   
Roman Emperor
63 BC-14 AD; first emperor of the Roman Empire
Bathsheba
   was an   
Israeli Noblewoman
Wife of David
Boudicca
   was a   
Celtic Military Leader
Led an uprising against the Roman Empire in 60 or 61 AD
Ban Zhao
   was a   
Chinese Historian
First female Chinese historian; 45-116 CE
Caligula
   was a   
Roman Emperor
Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, Lived 12-41 AD. Emperor 37-41 AD
Cao Cao
   was a   
Chinese Politician
Chancellor of the Eastern Han Dynasty; 155-220
Caratacus
   was a   
British Chieftain
Led resistance to the Roman western expansion in Britain
Cassius
   was a   
Roman Senator
Brother-in-law of Marcus Brutus and a leading instigator in the plot to kill Julius Caesar
Cato the Younger
   was a   
Roman Philosopher
Follower of the Stoic philosophy. Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis, commonly known as Cato the Younger to distinguish him from his great-grandfather
Chandragupta Maurya
   was an   
Indian Emperor
Founder of the Maurya Empire; c. 340-298 BCE
Cicero
   was a   
Roman Philosopher
Statesman, political theorist and famous orator; 106-43 BC
Claudius I
   was a   
Roman Emperor
Ruled 41-54 AD; considered an able and efficient administrator
Cleopatra VII
   was an   
Egyptian Queen
Last person to rule Egypt as a pharaoh; 69-30 BC
Confucius
   was a   
Chinese Philosopher
Traditionally 551-479 BC
Constantine the Great
   was a   
Roman Emperor
First Christian emperor of Rome;
Croesus
   was a   
Lydian King
Renowned for his wealth; 595-c. 547 BC, hence the phrase "rich as creosote"
Cyrus the Great
   was a   
Persian King
Founder of the Persian Empire; c. 600-530 BC
Darius the Great
   was a   
Persian King
Husband of Atossa and son-in-law of Cyrus the Great; 550 - 486 BCE
Diogenes
   was a   
Greek Philosopher
One of the founders of Cynic philosophy; c. 412 BC-404 BC
Draco
   was an   
Athenian Statesman
First lawgiver of ancient Athens, c. 7th century BCE; the laws' harshness gave rise to the word "draconian"
Epicurus
   was a   
Greek Philosopher
Founded school of thought known as Epicureanism, freedom from fear, absence of pain, self-sufficiency
Euclid
   was a   
Greek Mathematician
Flourished in Alexandria c. 300 BC; often referred to as the Father of Geometry
Euripides
   was a   
Greek Playwright
Last of the three great Athenian tragedians; c. 480-406 BCE
Gaius Marius
   was a   
Roman Statesman
Elected consul an unprecedented seven times
Galen
   was a   
Roman Physician
Contributed to the understanding of anatomy, physiology, pathology, pharmacology and neurology; 2nd century AD
Hadrian
   was a   
Roman Emperor
Ruled 117-138; best remembered for his wall marking the northern limit of Roman territory in Britain
Hammurabi
   was a   
Mesopotanian King
Author of a well-preserved law code dating to 1790 BC
Hannibal
   was a   
Carthaginian General
248-183 BC; popularly credited as being one of the most talented military commanders in history
Hatshepsut
   was an   
Egyptian Queen
Generally considered one of the most successful pharaohs; 1508-1458 BC
Herodotus
   was a   
Greek Historian
Regarded as the Father of History in Western culture; lived in the 5th century BC
Hippocrates
   was a   
Greek Physician
Considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine, c. 460-370 BC
Homer
   was a   
Greek Poet
Said to be the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey
Horace
   was a   
Roman Poet
The leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus
Jimmu Tenno
   was a   
Japanese Emperor
Legendary first emperor of Japan; trad. 660-585 BCE
King David
   was a   
Hebrew King
Second king of the united Kingdom of Israel, acclaimed as warrior, musician and poet; possibly c. 1040-970 BC
Leonides
   was a   
Spartan King
"lion's son", 17th of the Agiad line, died at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC
Livia Drusilla
   was a   
Roman Empress
Third wife of Augustus, mother of Tiberius, grandmother of Claudius and great-great grandmother of Nero
Lucretius
   was a   
Roman Philosopher
Titus Lucretius Carus, c. 99-55 BC
Marc Antony
   was a   
Roman General
C. 82-30 BC; his defeat by Octavian resulted in the demise of the republic form of government in Rome and the creation of the Roman Empire
Marcus Aurelius
   was a   
Roman Emperor
One of the "Good Emperors", ruled 161-180
Marcus Vipsaneus Agrippa
   was a   
Roman General
And statesman. Best known for winning the naval Battle of Actium; born c. 63 BC
Moses
   was a   
Hebrew Prophet
Traditionally attributed as the author of the Torah and the receiver of the 10 Commandments
Nebuchadnezzar
   was a   
Babylonian King
Credited with the construction of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon; c. 634-562 BC
Nefertari
   was an   
Egyptian Queen
One of the principal wives of Ramesses the Great; name means "Beautiful Companion"
Pericles
   was an   
Athenian General
Led his countrymen during the first two years of the Peloponnesian War
Pheidippides
   was an   
Athenian Courier
Central figure in a story which was the inspiration for the modern sporting event, the marathon
Philip II
   was a   
Macedonian King
Father of Alexander the Great
Plato
   was a   
Greek Philosopher
Founder of the Academy in Athens
Pliny the Elder
   was a   
Roman Author
Encyclopedic work, Naturalis Historia; died in the eruption of Mt Vesuvius, 8/25/79
Pliny the Younger
   was a   
Roman Author
Known for his letters; nephew of Pliny the Elder
Pontias Pilate
   was a   
Roman Governor
Best remembered as the judge at the trial of Jesus who authorized the crucifixion
Ptolemy I
   was an   
Egyptian Astronomer
Author of the only surviving comprehensive ancient treatise on astronomy, "The Almagest". Also a mathematician, geographer and King.
Ptolemy I
   was an   
Egyptian King
In 305 BC he declared himself King Ptolemy I. There were in fact many King Ptolemys. All male rulers in the Ptolemaic Dynasty took the name Ptolemy. Also a mathematician, geographer and astronomer
Publius Cornelius Tacitus
   was a   
Roman Historian
The Annals and the Histories; known simply as Tacitus
Pythagoras
   was a   
Greek Mathematician
Ionian Greek philosopher and mathematician. Born c. 570 BC. Best known for the Pythagorean theorem
Pytheas
   was a   
Greek Explorer
Explored northwestern Europe c. 325 BC; observations may include earliest report of Stonehenge
Ramses II
   was an   
Egyptian King
Reign: 1279-1213 BCE
Saint Patrick
   was a   
Romano-Briton Christian Missionary
Patron saint of Ireland; born c, 387 BC even though he was Welsh
Saint Peter
   was a   
Christian Apostle
First Pope
Saint Thomas
   was a   
Christian Apostle
One of the twelve, known for his disbelieving Jesus' resurrection
Sappho
   was a   
Greek Poet
Born on the island of Lesbos between 630 and 612 BC; most of her poetry has been lost but her reputation endures
Scipio Aemiliamus
   was a   
Roman General
Aka Scipio Africanus the Younger; led final siege and destruction of Carthage in 146 BC
Scipio Africanus
   was a   
Roman General
Best known for defeating Hannibal in the final battle of the Second Punic War at Zama
Shi Huangdi
   was a   
Chinese Emperor
Became the first emperor of a unified China in 221 BCE
Socrates
   was a   
Greek Philosopher
Credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy; known chiefly through the writings of Plato
Solomon
   was a   
Hebrew King
Son of David; renowned for his wisdom
Sophocles
   was a   
Greek Playwright
Only 7 plays survive in complete form of the 123 written; c. 497-406 BCE
Spartacus
   was a   
Roman Rebel ( Greek Slave)
Folk hero and inspiration for modern writers
Tacitus
   was a   
Roman Historian
Portions of two major works survive: the Annals and the Histories
Themistocles
   was an   
Athenian Admiral
Commander of the Greek allied navy at the battles of Artemisium and Salamis
Thucydides
   was a   
Greek Historian
Author of the History of the Peloponnesian War; c. 460-395 BCE
Tiberius
   was a   
Roman Emperor
Reign 14-37 AD
Titus Livius
   was a   
Roman Historian
Wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people, "Ab Urbe Condita Libri"; 59 BC- 17 AD
Trajan
   was a   
Roman Emperor
Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus, 53-117 AD; best known for his extensive public building program
Tutankhaman
   was an   
Egyptian King
18th dynasty, ruled c. 1333-1323 BCE
Ulfilas
   was a   
Bishop of the Goths
Christian missionary, translated the Bible into the Gothic language; c. 310-383
Vasubandhu
   was an   
Indian Philosopher
Buddhist scholar-monk; one of the founders of the Indian Yogacara school; flourished c. 4th c.
Virgil
   was a   
Roman Poet
Publius Vergilius Maro; best known for the Eclogues, the Georgics, and the Aeneid; 70 BCE - 19 BCE
Wang Xizhi
   was a   
Chinese Calligrapher
303-361; traditionally referred to as the Sage of Calligraphy
Xerxes
   was a   
Persian King
Xerxes the Great, fourth Zoroastrian king of the Achamenid Empire
Zoroaster
   was a   
Persian Prophet


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